A heartbroken father has recalled the devastating moment he accidentally reversed over his 15-month-old daughter, killing her instantly and leaving the family in despair.
Peter Cockburn has openly spoken about the shocking incident in 2011, which saw him back into his youngest child with a trailer as he was entering the garage after returning from work at a building site in Young, NSW. His worst nightmare came true as little Georgina tragically died at the scene.
Now eight years on, the dad – who works as a builder – has bravely spoken out about the accident and how the family is working through the pain with the creation of the Georgina Josephine Foundation.
In an interview with The Daily Mail, Peter recalled the shock of feeling a bump as he reversed and realising he had killed his child – and how the feelings of guilt will always be imprinted in his mind.
“As soon as I stepped out, I knew what I’d done,” the loving dad said. “There was no saving her, we kept trying but there was no saving her.”
Since that day, he and his wife Emma have set up their foundation to support others who have been impacted by Low Speed Vehicle Runovers (LSVR) – with a goal to hopefully reduce the risk of these tragic accidents happening again.
The main aim of the foundation is to create a support program for families affected and implement education campaigns to increase awareness of LSVR.
“We want people to be inspired to change, not to think we are brave,” Peter said in a statement on the foundation’s website. “We can’t improve the situation for us, but we can try to make it better for other people.”
Sadly for Peter, the memories of that horrible day still remain, with the pain only growing. In the chat with The Daily Mail, the father claimed “it never gets easier”, with guilt eating away at him constantly.
“We always know, every day you wake up, you know in your mind what they’d be doing, what they’d be like, and you start blaming yourself again,” he told the publication.
This isn’t the first time the family have spoken about the accident, appearing on SBS program Insight last year. It was during this interview that Emma shared her memories of the day her little girl died and the thoughts that rushed through her head.
“I remember sitting, they took us into a side room, gave us Georgy to hold and I’m sitting there holding her and the next minute he [Peter] come [sic] down and sat down in front of me and said ‘I’ve got to talk to the police’ and that’s when I thought ‘oh crap, is he going to be charged? Is he going to go to jail?’ she said.
Speaking of the pain at killing his daughter at the time, Peter added: “I felt a bump and instantly realised it didn’t feel right so I ran behind the car and I seen [sic] my little girl on the ground and my worst nightmares come [sic] true, I run over my little girl.”